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20120804
20120804
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KQED (PBS) 1
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Search Results 0 to 9 of about 10 (some duplicates have been removed)
PBS
Aug 4, 2012 1:30am PDT
, google it. it is put out by jpl in pasadena. we have this robot hurdling through space at 13,000 miles per hour. it weighs one ton. it is the size of a mini cooper. the pathfinder was a microwave. this is big. headed through space. the atmosphere of mars is very thin. it is not as soft and gentle an entry as it would be here on earth. within seven minutes, it needs to go from 13,000 miles per hour to zero and land gently and this elegant sequence of events need to happen perfectly to land successfully. it involves parachutes and rockets. pretty marvelous feat of engineering. a lot has been invested. i talked to scott harber today. he used to be the lead researcher. he said the mood is of confidence, but tension. a blanket of tension over the confidence. we tested all these tools as much as we can. it is time to get on up there and give it a try. it is really high stakes. >> will this actually scoop things up and get it back to us or it will collect data? >> it will collect data and transmit back to us. how we will find out if it is successful or not is a data stream. it is very h
PBS
Aug 4, 2012 12:00am PDT
one in three. here 59 jpl they've gone 13 for 18. that's a 7: -- .720 batting average in the red planet league. even so this time the nerves are racheted higher along with the stakes. >> facing budget pressure from the white house, nasa has reduced funding for mars missions and pulled out of plans to partner with the european space agency to stage an elaborate series of missions to mars to bring a rock sample back to earth. much to the dismay of the mars science community. jim bell is president of the planetary society and also on the spirit opportunity and curiosity imaging teams. >> it's frustrating to try and understand why the administration or congress would want to stop what so many americans are incredibly proud of and has been so successful. >> one of their big apply loos is democratic congressman adam shift who represents the california district that is home to the jet propulsion lab. >> if we step back from mars now at a time when we are tantalizingly close to finding the building blocks of life on mars, it may be decades before we go back. >> facing the bleak funding o
CBS
Aug 4, 2012 8:00am EDT
the chances that this thing works? >> i think it's in the 9s. those engineers at jpl are really good. >> landing on mars has been a tricky thing. 70% of the missions that landed on mars have failed. that's both the u.s. and with russia as well. what are the factors that complicate this? >> the atmosphere of mars is thick enough to heat your spacecraft and melt it on the way in if you don't slow down in the right way. it's thin enough that it's hard to slow down. it's a delicate balance between slowing down fast enough and not slowing down at all. that's what takes this incredibly complicated heat shield parachute rocket sky crane maneuver. >> not to mention, this is something that scientists won't be seeing in real time. there's going to be a delay. why? >> well, it takes 14 minutes at this point for light to get from mars to earth. radio signals too. so this lander will be on the surface of mars in one piece or many for seven minutes before the signal gets back to earth to tell us that it's successful or not. >> we've had missions like this before. what makes this one different
Search Results 0 to 9 of about 10 (some duplicates have been removed)